While the Oakland Athletics enjoyed an off day in Miami, the Marlins arrived back in South Florida early Friday morning after a 14-inning loss in Philadelphia late Thursday.
Miami (39-40) hosts Oakland (48-30) this weekend to kick off a six-game homestand. Although they are one shy of the major-league lead with 24 home wins, the Marlins have gone 6-12 with series losses in five of six.
Oakland holds the best record in baseball after winning eight of its last 11. Despite dropping 10 of its last 15, Miami sits just 2½ games out of first in the National League East.
The three-game set marks the first time the clubs will have met since 2011 when the Marlins took two of three. In just nine matchups, Miami is 5-4 against Oakland.
Since a solid debut in May, righty Anthony DeSclafani has surrendered 16 runs in 15 1/3 innings over three starts. On Sunday, he went a career-low 3 2/3 innings after being knocked around for seven runs. Righty Jesse Chavez will counter in Friday’s opener, and he has allowed two runs or fewer in 11 of his starts this season. Chavez has given up just one run in 13 innings over his last two outings.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi got back on track in his last start in Philadelphia, tossing 6 1/3 scoreless frames. In an outing before and after the birth of his first child, he saw 11 runs come across in 10 2/3 innings. Righty Sonny Gray snapped a two-game skid with a seven-inning performance in his previous start. He will be pitching on 10 days’ rest.
Sunday’s finale features a battle of young southpaws. Andrew Heaney makes his third big-league start having dropped his first two. Against the Phillies, he went just five innings, allowing five runs (three in the first). Tommy Milone saw his five-game winning streak end after permitting five runs to the Boston Red Sox.
Here’s a look at the upcoming Athletics-Marlins series …
SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS
LF Yoenis Cespedes (Athletics): The Cuban-born player will get to play in Little Havana for the first time. Cespedes has a 10-game hitting streak and three straight contests with an RBI. He is batting .359 during the span with seven runs, two homers, 12 RBI, one strikeout and one walk.
RF Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins): Although Stanton has ”just” two home runs and three RBI over his past 10 games, he still paces the NL in both categories. He is batting .361 with four multi-hit contests during this stretch.
SS Jed Lowrie (Athletics): Over his past 10 games, Lowrie is 5 for 37 (.135) with five runs and no RBI. He went hitless in six at-bats against the New York Mets. His average (.215) is flirting with the Mendoza line.
CF Jake Marisnick (Marlins): Marisnick will likely be sent down this weekend when Christian Yelich is eligible to come off the disabled list. Marisnick snapped a five-game hitless skid with a 1 for 6 performance on Thursday. He is 7 for 43 (.163) with 15 strikeouts and three walks since getting called up.
398: Runs for the Athletics, second most in the majors.
7.94: Lifetime ERA for righty Jesse Chavez in eight games (one start) against the Marlins.
.889: Win percentage in interleague games this season for Miami. The Marlins are 8-1.
2003: The last time the Athletics visited Miami. The Marlins won two of three games.
”It was unfortunate we weren’t able to hold that lead. In the end, that’s what happens. You end up playing a long night. We had a lot of great efforts pitching-wise. We couldn’t get that big hit and they got it.” — Manager Mike Redmond, to reporters in Philadelphia, on losing in 14 innings Thursday
”It’d be huge, just like making it to the big leagues is big. You leave a special place for every big achievement that you dreamed of or always wanted to do, so it would fit right into that category.” — Giancarlo Stanton, to reporters in Philadelphia, on what it would mean to compete in the Home Run Derby
June 27 — Marlins Energy Team poster presented by Net10 Wireless; Fireworks Friday (postgame Fireworks Spectacular)
June 28 — Saturday Spectacular Summer Concert Series with Chino y Nacho; Venezuelan Heritage Night; All You Can Eat Special
June 29 — Miami Marlins replica soccer jersey courtesy of Pepsi; Family Sunday (Snapshot Sunday and Radio Disney pregame; Diamond Dash postgame); Marlins Foundation Charity Partner Day; Pepsi 4-for-$54 Pack